In our latest podcast we’re taking a (hungover) look at the film that has been accused of being the most misogynistic in Dario Argento’s back catalogue. Have you seen Tenebrae? Do you agree that it’s a chauvinistic piece of video nasty trash? Or do you think it’s a self-referential wink to fans and critics alike, taking the label of ‘woman-hater’ and daubing it in trashy neon?
I personally think Dario Argento’s relationship to women is somewhat complicated. A traditional macho Italian man of the old school, I think whiffs of misogyny come through in most of his movies. That said I don’t think he hates women. He’s been quoted as saying he’d rather see a beautiful woman die than an ugly woman. That in itself is problematic. But if you read too much into what a director thinks, or what he DOES in his private life, then I imagine you’d end up avoiding most films out there.
We love Hitchchock despite what he did to Tippi Hedren. Many love Woody Allen despite his highly publicised relationship with his own partner’s adopted daughter. So Dario Argento likes to see women chopped up… no biggie! Right? Or wrong?
Whichever side of the fence you stand – the side with barbed wire, for me – you can’t deny the sheer beauty of Tenebrae. It’s fetishistic red-stiletto heels stomp all over the masculinity of the men in the movie. Even in her most subservient role Daria Nicolodi tends to have the last laugh – and the longest of movie screams. And the sheer lunacy of many of the set-pieces must be seen to be believed.
Listen to the podcast and let us know what you think. Tweet me at @jonnylarkin – or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our giallo eps are turning out to be our most downloaded and that is amazing! But we need more feedback. Don’t pull your punches, tell us what you think.